The latest Google updates show a transformation in the SEO landscape. One of these changes brings local SEO to the forefront, making it an essential part of the Google ranking process.
When searching, the majority of people prefer using mobiles over desktops. This has led Google to make its index mobile-first. This is because mobile users usually search for information on the basis of where they are or where they plan to be. In simple words, they search for local information.
It may seem like a difficult task to accomplish, but local SEO makes it easy for businesses to get higher rankings in a particular area. Plus, it narrows down the pool of competitors. Instead of competing with nationwide companies, you just have to score higher rankings against the businesses in your niche.
Following this strategy, content forms the base of local SEO. Through content, you can deliver the information to your customers and help them connect with each other. To ensure that your SEO and content are in coherence with each other, you need to optimize your content and website. This will enable local customers to find your services or products.
Before we go on to explore how content can help you win over the local SEO, let’s take a look at why SEO is crucial in the first place.
Advantages of SEO
It increases local search engine rankings
Do you know that approximately 64% of consumers find local businesses through Google and other search engines? Also, 50% consumers who conduct a local search for a store visit it the same day. This shows that if you run a business that involves in-person transactions, you are bound to lose customers if you utilize local SEO.
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93% of Google search results belong to ‘Google 3 pack’. These are the top 3 results that are the most relevant to your search. You cannot control the search results in the 3 pack, but you can try to increase the rankings of your web page to bring it closer to the 3 pack. Google prioritizes search results that are the most relevant to the searched term and located geographically close.
It serves customers’ needs
Satisfied customers are the core of every successful business. To ensure that your customers are happy with your service, give them the best possible experience. But remember, that the experience these days doesn’t start when they enter your store, it starts with the first Google search.
The only way to make your customers’ experience memorable is by making it convenient for them to locate your store online. More than 71% people look up online to confirm the location of the store they want to visit. On top of that, 33% smartphone searches are made right before the store visit. Don’t play it hard to get by making it difficult for them to search for your store. Offer them easy navigation, show them your complete store virtually, and help them find the product/service they are looking for. If you do that successfully, you are winning the local SEO game.
Helps you save money
Around 78% of local mobile searches result in an online or in-store purchase. Therefore, you need to be proactive in creating a strong online presence. Otherwise, you will lose customers.
These are not the only numbers that show the importance of local SEO. Research shows that 92.7% businesses that utilize inbound marketing have experienced a surge in lead generation. Moreover, with the help of inbound marketing, 42.2% businesses have experienced a rise in their lead to scale conversion rate. Moving in the right direction will help businesses utilize local SEO to their advantage.
Local SEO helps you capture new leads as well. When new people come to an area, chances are they will run a Google search for the things/places they are looking for. If your business doesn’t appear in that search, you will lose your business to your competitors.
Now that we have ascertained the importance of local SEO for your business, let’s look at how content can help you win this game.
The power of content in local SEO
- Go local with content
Content is the center point of SEO, be it local or organic. Search engines look for fresh content. Publishing content regularly shows search engines that your website is active and still in the game. By giving your content a local edge, you send relevant local on-page signals to Google.
However, that’s not the only advantage of publishing local content regularly. It also helps you establish credibility among the current and future customers. Think of your blog and website as a customer service tool that provides valuable information to your consumers.
- Keyword optimization
The main element that helps content rank high in search engines is a keyword. Until and unless your content is keyword optimized, it’s of no use to search engines. Google understands the website details through the text and hidden codes. Therefore, make sure that whatever content you are creating includes keywords that people search for.
- Title tags
Title tags appear on the top of the browser tab, when you are saving bookmarks, and in search results. Basically they show your website name and tell the users and Google what your website is about. Title tags are supposed to entice users to click and visit the website.
The challenge is to create a title that is interesting and understandable to both humans and search engine. Here’s how you can do that:
- Make sure that the title includes your targeted keyword and describes your page.
- The length of the title should not be more than 55 characters. Any longer than that and Google won’t display the complete name.
- Your brand/company name should be a part of the title tag, followed by your products/services.
- Meta descriptions
This is another important part of content that gives users and search engines a brief description of your website. Creating an interesting and informative Meta description increases the chances of people visiting the page. However, there is one restriction. The Meta description needs to be within 156 characters. Otherwise, it won’t be viewable on Google search results.
Name, address, and phone number (NAP) are the three most important aspects of local SEO. Making this information public signifies to Google that you are an authentic business. This is important because when Google scans multiple websites and comes across different addresses of your business, it marks your business as spam. Keeping NAP consistent throughout the web will increase your chances of getting higher rankings in local search results.
- Optimized images
Visual content is gaining more and more traction with time. And to rank that content you need to make it optimized. The problem is search engines don’t view images as humans do. Therefore, to make visuals readable to search engines, you need to provide them additional information. This will help increase the ranking of your targeted keyword.
To make your visual content SEO-friendly, make sure to add the following information:
Title text – this is the title of the image that comes up when you hover over an image. The title text of the image should include the keyword and a few words to describe the image.
Filename – when you save an image on your computer, you give it a name. Similarly, when you upload the image on the site, you’ll have to give it a name too. Make sure that the name includes the targeted keyword.
Size – the final uploaded image should be small in size so that it doesn’t take time to load. If it’s not small, compress it and then upload.
Alt-text – this is the text that comes on display when the image fails to load correctly. Again, it’s important that this text contains the target keyword and a brief image description.
Taking over the local SEO is time-consuming, but it’s not impossible. Need help in making your mark in the search engine results? Get in touch with us, a local SEO company, and we’ll help your business succeed.